One of the many opportunities I get to take advantage of as an art therapy undergraduate student is to work with a variety of different populations. Since freshman year, I’ve been able to work with a group of adults living with different abilities. With each time I’ve met with these individuals, I learn more and more about the needs of this population. While learning more about what clients need, I also learn more about myself and the type of art therapy that I want to practice, what it means to truly help another individual, and that through helping others, there are a lot of opportunities for both self satisfaction and growth.
For the internship class I’m currently taking, my fellow classmates, professor, and I all came up with the idea to do a mural directive. The mural would have a fall theme in which we created a pumpkin patch and a tree for clients to attach leaves, wildlife, pumpkins, and gourds. Our goal was to bring joy, communication, and autonomy to this group of adults, and I feel that through this directive we were successful. The joy that the clients had when creating the work brought about a great, positive energy in the room with everyone communicating and having a great time. The individual I worked with was talking and laughing with another person, and together they collaborated and made a piece together to hang on the mural which was great to see. Being able to see the benefits that art therapy has on individuals is not only a driving force for why I do what I do, but it also reassures me that this is exactly what I’m meant to be doing.